Football

Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo exit

Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo will be leaving the club in a mutually agreeable fashion.

Ronaldo, who is at the World Cup in Qatar with Portugal, caused a stir last week when he gave a lengthy interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV. In the interview, Ronaldo criticised United, senior people at the club, and manager Erik ten Hag.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner said he felt “betrayed” by the Red Devils and that they have made “zero progress” since legendary manager Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford in 2013.

United said in a statement that “appropriate steps” had been taken after the explosive interview.

The club said the 37-year-old player has left United for the second time on Tuesday.

United’s official website stated: “Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to leave Manchester United, and he will do so immediately.

“The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances and wishes him and his family well for the future.

“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.”

Ronaldo joined United for the first time in 2003. Over the next six years, he scored 118 goals in 292 games and became one of the best players in the world.

In August 2021, after 12 years at Real Madrid and Juventus, he returned to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 games in his first season back, but he is said to have asked to leave before the 2022-23 season because United didn’t make the Champions League.

He stayed with the Red Devils and was a bit of a part player this season under the new coach Ten Hag.

Last month, Ronaldo made headlines when he refused to come on as a sub in the 2-0 win over Tottenham and left the field before the final whistle.

After that mistake, the club kicked him off the team for three days. He got back on the team four games before the World Cup.

On November 6, the club lost 3-1 to Aston Villa in his last game.